In 2005, the U.S. experienced the most active Atlantic hurricane
season in recorded history. One of the seven major hurricanes that
occurred that year was Hurricane Katrina, which caused an estimated
$81 billion in damages and was directly responsible for 1,500
deaths. The costliest hurricane in U.S. history, Katrina forced an
estimated half-million people in the New Orleans area to leave
their homes and seek shelter in other cities.
Although the rebuilding effort has faced significant challenges,
those living in the Gulf Coast region have not lost hope and
rebuilding continues. And though the waters that flooded so many
neighborhoods have receded, a different barrier now threatens to
slow rebuilding efforts: the region's significant shortage of
skilled construction workers.
The desire to rehabilitate the Gulf Coast coupled with the
region's labor shortage has spawned numerous initiatives focused on
training those interested in becoming construction workers. These
initiatives, which consist of partnerships between various
organizations and local community and technical colleges, aim to
help revive the region by rebuilding its work force.
During a time when the roofing industry is facing its own work
force shortage, this type of worker training initiative could not
only help rebuild regions devastated by natural disasters but also
become an important asset for many roofing contracting
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